How the South African teams perform in the European Cups? In the end, the Bulls, Stormers and Sharks put on a good show, even if the results were not as good as expected, with two teams going out in the round of 16 and one in the quarterfinals.
South African franchises played their first European Rugby Cups this season. What had caused a huge outcry because of its contradiction, has become quite commonplace as the competitions progressed. In the Champions Cup, the results are not so good for these teams. The Sharks have qualified for the quarterfinals. But they were swept away by Toulouse on Saturday 08 April (54-20). Is it enough to talk about failure? Not necessarily for a first meeting. But the expectations were legitimate with a squad that includes Springboks internationals like Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth and Bongi Mbonambi.
Like the Sharks, the Stormers also played in the quarter finals of the Champions Cup. However, they lost to Exeter (42-17), also on Saturday 08 April. Moreover, to get there, the Sharks and the Stormers have respectively crushed in the round of 16 Munster (50-35) and Harlequins (32-28, at home), two of the terrors of the competition. This proves that on the intrinsic qualities, the South African franchises have the answer.
C'était un véritable festival du @StadeToulousain aujourd'hui!! 🎉🏉
Et @RomainNtamack le conclut en traversant les lignes des Sharks ❤️🖤
— Champions Cup France (@ChampionsCup_FR) April 8, 2023
All out of the group
Finally, the last South African representative in the Champions Cup was the Bulls team. The latter left the competition in the round of 16, beaten by Toulouse (33-9), decidedly tormented by the South Africans.
"I'm disappointed but the Champions Cup is a very big competition, where it is so difficult to win", said Jake White, the Bulls coach after the defeat. So it's fair to say that the Rainbow Nation's teams have had an encouraging start in the Champions Cup, as well as in the Challenge Cup, the small European Cup where the Cheetahs reached the round of 16 (beaten by Toulon 36-21). The Lions, on the other hand, failed in the quarterfinals against the Glasgow Warriors (31-21). In addition, the South African teams have experienced the consequences of their long travels. Indeed, all of their defeats took place on the road. While at home, they won all their games.